Shilpa Reddy realised that she was being drawn towards ethnic textiles and that, “There has been a shift in my thought process. Each time I came across collections that use handlooms and listened to the craftsmanship and the man hours that went into put it all together, I felt overwhelmed.”
For her latest collection called ‘Gold fragrance of the raw feminine’, that she showed at the first edition of the India Fashion Week in Dubai, the designer used coarse and unbleached chanderi cotton. “I think I will focus on weaves from different parts of the country for my forthcoming collections. For this line, the inspiration came from the off white and gold sari worn by women in Kerala. There’s something pure and untouched about that sari,” she says. Shilpa designed 16 outfits, some of them in whites and others in deep red, leaf green and gulaal pink.
“The focus was on the traditional side to the modern Indian woman, who embraces her sexuality and doesn’t feel the need to compare with anything masculine. I wanted to highlight South Indian sensibilities in an international forum,” she explains. The models walked the ramp for Shilpa Reddy without any footwear as classical alaap and fusion music reverberated in the background.
“The fabric [Chanderi] falls in a certain way; I had to give a double lining and tweak it so that it would take the required silhouette. At first, I wasn’t sure if the Chanderi fabric would support heavy embroidery in saris but it did,” she says. The designer says that the uneven finish of the unbleached fabric adds to the appeal of the garments.
Speaking about the first edition of the India Fashion Week in Dubai, Shilpa Reddy said, “There is a huge amount of respect for Indian weaves and Bollywood fashion is very popular. People in Dubai look up to Indian designers and fashion.”